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Stress-Free Summer Parties

Updated on May 15, 2015

Plan A Summer Party Easily

Whether you are having a simple outdoor barbecue or a huge holiday celebration, these recipes and entertaining tips will help you plan a fabulous and stress-free summer party.

With warm weather comes the most wonderful season for parties. Planning a summer party is not only easy and exciting, but full of fun and enjoyment.

It is possible to make your party an event that your guests will always remember, while also being able to relax and enjoy the party yourself.

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Throw A Theme Party!

A "Serve Yourself" Drink Dispenser - Having your guests help themselves is easiest for everyone.

Stylesetter Glass Beverage Dispenser- 169-Ounce
Stylesetter Glass Beverage Dispenser- 169-Ounce

Nice, large beverage dispenser for parties, weddings, picnics and entertaining.


Fun Party Ideas

Top 5 Summer Theme Parties

1. Hawaiian Luau

Tiki torches, pineapple, leis and Hawaiian shirts are what it's all about!

2. Spanish Fiesta

Bright colored linens, sangria, Flamenco guitar music and tapas set the stage!

3. Fire and Ice

Candles, frozen drinks, a bonfire and ice cream just to start!

4. Block Party

Lawn chairs, potato salad, lemonade, and retro music start the fun!

5. Hot and Spicy

Buffalo wings, chili, red and yellow plates/napkins, and colorful peppers get the party going!

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Enjoy this salad at any summer party or event!

Crunchy Bacon Coleslaw

Coleslaw with a twist!

2 pkg. refrigerated coleslaw mix

3/4 cup chopped cocktail peanuts

8 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

4 tbls. sugar

1 tsp. celery seed

Combine mayonnaise and sugar and mix until sugar is dissolved. Add to remaining ingredients and chill. Serves 12-14.

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Marinate ahead of time and get ready to grill!

Lime Tequila Shrimp - The lime marinade gives this shrimp an extra zip!



Juice from 2 limes

2 tbls tequila

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined


Combine all ingredients and marinate at least 2 hrs or up to 24 hrs. Put shrimp on metal or wood skewers ( for wood soak in water 30 minutes ahead). Grill shrimp 3-5 minutes per side. 4 servings.

Plan Ahead!

Tips for a Stress-free Party

Parties can be extremely stressful without planning ahead. As soon as you pick the date of the party, start keeping a notebook of what needs to be done. Make a checklist of things to do each day before the party.


For a casual summer party, invitations can be sent out or a simple phone call will do. Social networking sites are also a good option for invites. Invitations should be sent out at least 2-3 weeks in advance. Since summer is a busy season for vacations, it's best to slightly over invite to insure plenty of guests.


Plan a theme for your party such as a Hawaiian Luau or a 4th of July Party. Purchase decorations, party plates, napkins and cups early. Decide on a centerpiece, flowers or balloons for the main food table. If you are putting an order in for anything, do it right away. Candles are in order if the party will continue into the evening.


One of the main ways to keep a party stress-free is to keep the menu simple. Plan on making a few easy dishes or even just the main dish. Pre-order the other menu items or when your guests offer to bring something, accept their offer! Set up a drink area with 2-3 selections so that guests can help themselves. A big bowl of punch serves many and is a wonderful crowd pleaser!

Setting Up

Start setting up the day before the party. It may be too early to set up outside, but everything can be unwrapped and ready to go. Make food preparations in advance and pick up decorations and pre-ordered food. Ask a friend, family member or guest to arrive early and help. Keep a list of everything you need to do the day before and the day of the party.

Party Time

Now is the time to relax and enjoy your efforts of planning ahead. Everything is calm and stress-free and you are able to greet your guests and enjoy the party as well!

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Make Fresh Lemonade!

Fresh squeezed lemonade is a special treat that can be the hightlight of your Summer Party!


Fresh Squeezed Deliciousness!


2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 gallon water

3 lemons, sliced

Combine lemon juice, sugar and

water until sugar is dissolved.

Pour into punch bowl or pitcher.

Add lemon slices. 12 Servings.

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Impress Your Guests with

A Watermelon Basket!

Crab Nachos

A summertime party favorite!


8 oz. refrigerated crabmeat, cartilage removed

(imitation crabmeat can also be used)

12 oz. shredded monterey jack cheese

Tortilla chips

Old Bay or cajun seasoning


Spread tortilla chips on greased baking sheet. Top with crabmeat and cheese. Sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

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Decorate with Tropical Fruit!

Pineapples, coconuts and mangoes are fun and inexpensive ways to dress up a summer party. The best part is that you can eat the decorations later!

Outdoor Lighting

Set the Party Mood with Summer Lanterns!

Summer lanterns hung on shepherd hooks are a fabulous way to create ambience for your outdoor party. Several summer lanterns decoratively placed, not only provide subtle lighting, but also create a fun atmosphere.

Choose candles with lively summer scents and playful colors to further enhance the mood. Be sure to light key areas such as the serving/drink tables and walkways.

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Top 10 Summer Party Drinks

  1. Margarita
  2. Sangria
  3. Strawberry Daiquiri
  4. Hurricane
  5. Plantars Punch
  6. Mojito
  7. Pina Colada
  8. Rum Punch
  9. Pimm's Cup
  10. Red Wine Punch

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: 1


  • 1 oz.light rum
  • 1 oz. dark rum
  • 2 oz. passion fruit nectar
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • crushed ice
  • fresh fruit for garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients except garnish in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Strain into a large glass or Hurricane glass.
  3. Top with garnish.
Cast your vote for Hurricane Cocktail Recipe

Share your tips for summer parties or just say hello!

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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Oh this is a great lens, Hubby and I have been cleaning up the yard and rejuvenating it, so that a backyard party can follow all the work. Thanks for these great ideaas and recipes. I'll be using some of them for sure.....

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      There are so many neat ideas for throwing a Summer party! I guess I am kind of blessed in that living in Jacksonville, Florida, we have pretty much beautiful weather all year long. At least I think so, being from Northeastern Ohio!! I love to do the full-blown theme parties, myself. PARTY!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Barbeque party!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm looking forward to some summer entertaining on the deck. Just eating outside adds makes it more relaxing and a treat after being cooped up all winter.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      good idea........ thanks

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Best part of summer - the excuse for lots of parties! Shame it's always so hot and humid down here in FL, but oh well - still love summer parties, and what great ideas you have for them!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Thank you for these great tips for Summer Parties. We seem to have a lot of folks in our home during the summer especially our grandson and all his friends. It's fun to make their visits a little extra special with some party fun.


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